Jul 13th 2007 By: Chris Dooley
Fans of costumed heroes are going to be in for a treat-and some surprises-when one of the most famous names in comics returns in a new graphic novel.
"Wonderman is one of the more interesting heroes who appeared-and then disappeared-during the Golden Age of comics," said Stephen L. Stern, who along with Stan Timmons created the newest incarnation of the character. "Now he's returning to fight a very real, very contemporary menace-climate change."
Wonderman's adventures were published by Nedor Comics between 1944 and 1948. The company went out of business three years later.
"There was actually another Wonder Man-spelled as two words-who had one of the shortest-lived careers in comics," Stern added. "He was published in 1939 by Fox Comics, but lasted only one issue."
That first Wonder Man became the subject of a celebrated court case, in which DC Comics, publishers of Superman, successfully claimed that the Fox character was a blatant copy of the Man of Steel. It was the first copyright lawsuit in comic-book history, and was decided in DC's favor after legendary comics creator Will Eisner testified that he had been asked by Fox to create a Superman-type character.
But another publisher, Nedor Comics, then created its own Wonderman, who went on to a much more extensive career in costumed crimefighting. His alter ego was Brad Spencer, an ordinary mortal given superpowers as the result of a laboratory accident.
"Our new Wonderman is indeed Brad Spencer, albeit a Brad Spencer who lives in the contemporary world," said Timmons, who is co-writing the graphic novel with Stern. "Our story has a unique twist in that it also involves the reappearance of the first Wonder Man that's sure to delight fans of Golden Age comics."
'Wonderman' is illustrated by Sandu Florea, whose credits include 'The Hulk' for Marvel Comics and 'Superman' for DC, as well as the comic-book adaptation of 'The Executioner'.
Florea said, "I was attracted to this project not just for its historical significance, but because it deals in a creative way with the problem of global warming-which may just be the most important issue facing the human race."
'Wonderman' is being produced by the creators' Dreamwalk Studios, and will be released in 2008. More information can be found at www.wondermangraphicnovel.blogspot.com.
The very first Wonder Man, illustrated by Will Eisner, and the new Wonderman by artist Sandu Florea.